Animals used in war
Animals were an integral part of the action during the First World War.
Horses: Were used for fighting and transport. Eight million horses were reported killed.
Dogs: Most species of dogs were used, particularly during trench warfare. Dobermans and German shepherds were favourite breeds as they are intelligent, trainable and have superior guarding abilities. They were used as sentries, scouts, explosive finders, messengers, to find casualties on the battlefield, rat-catchers and mascots.
Pigeons: These were the most reliable form of communication in WWI, and of the 100,000 used it’s estimated they had a 95% success rate. (Source: Animals in World War One, History Learning Site).
Kangaroos: Australian soldiers were known to smuggle kangaroos with them to keep as mascots. (Source: ABC News).
Camels: The Imperial Camel Corps were formed in 1916 to fight in Egypt’s Western Desert. There were 200 camels killed and 598 wounded. (Source: Australian War Memorial).
Mules and donkeys: Were used for transport. “Countless” numbers died in WWI. (Source: History Channel website).
Glowworms: These bugs were even used to brighten the trenches of WWI soldiers. (Source: History Channel website).